"Varlets in green jerkins"

Medieval servants in green, sleeveless jackets. Conrad’s description of the anachronistic art on the walls of the café points up his own disruption of the chronology of the novel. Here, instead of sticking to the conventional timeline he has established, he catapults the reader forward in time without giving any hints about what he has done. The effect is disorientating and has led some critics to claim that The Secret Agent is itself an anarchic text.